Supplement-Directory of the top 12 CM credentials

When it comes to case management certification, it's not a one-size-fits-all world. You should select the certification program that best fits your personal work experience, education, and professional needs. The information in this special supplement is summarized directly from candidate handbooks supplied by the credentialing boards. For complete eligibility criteria, candidate applications, and candidate handbooks, contact the appropriate credentialing board directly.

1. Certified Case Manager (CCM)

Commission For Case Management Certification, 1835 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. Telephone: (847) 818-0292. Fax: (847) 394-2108. E-mail: info@ccmcertification.org. Web site: www.ccmcertification.org.

Eligibility requirements: Candidates must:

— hold current RN licensure or acceptable licensure/certification in a field that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of the persons being served;

— have 12 to 24 months of acceptable full-time case management employment.

Registration fee: $290. Testing dates: Twice annually in June and December.

Testing sites: Fully accessible, smoke-free test sites are arranged on the basis of the geographic distribution of candidates sitting for the examination. In order to minimize travel expenses, one examination site per state will be established where possible.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every five years. The recertification fee is $150. Candidates must accumulate 80 hours of acceptable continuing education or retake the CCM examination to become recertified. They also must hold the underlying license or national certification that was the basis of their initial CCM certification eligibility. Candidates who choose to retake the CCM examination must pay an additional fee of $160.

Exam content outline: The one-day exam contains 300 multiple-choice questions. It covers processes and relationships, health care management, community resources and support, service delivery, psychosocial intervention, and rehabilitation case management.

Sample question: The effectiveness of case management services is evaluated most completely:

a) after the extent of the benefits coverage is determined

b) after the case is closed

c) by measuring the costs incurred by the insurer

d) by input from the client

 

2. Nurse Case Manager (RN-NCM)

American Nurses' Association, American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC), 600 Maryland Ave. S.W., Suite 100 W., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (800) 284-2378. Web site: www.ana.org/ancc .

Eligibility requirements: Candidates who currently hold a core nursing specialty certification* must:

— hold an active RN license in the United States or its territories;

— show proof of current, nationally recognized core nursing specialty certification;

— have functioned within the scope of practice for a minimum of 2,000 hours within the last two years prior to application for the exam.

(*In September 1999, the ANCC Commission on Certification confirmed that candidates with a current, nationally recognized core nursing specialty certification do not need to hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing to be eligible to take modular exams. The Nurse Case Manager exam is a modular exam.)

OR

Candidates who do not hold a core nursing specialty certification must:

— hold an active RN license in the United States or its territories;

— hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing (transcript showing conferral of degree must be submitted);

— have functioned as a RN for 4,000 hours (2,000 of those within the scope of practice), within the last two years prior to application for the exam.

Registration fees: Fees range from $130 to $370 depending on ANA membership status, core nursing specialty certification, and type of exam.

Testing dates: (tentative) June 30, 2001, and Oct. 6, 2001. Testing sites: More than 80 testing sites throughout the United States and its territories.

Recertification: Certification is valid for five years. Recertification requirements vary slightly depending on an individual's specialty. In most instances, the recertification requirements include both continuing education and retesting. Please note: the Commission on Certification is finalizing changes to the recertification rules in its 2001 handbook.

Exam content outline: The test covers the five components of the nursing case management process: assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and interaction.

Sample question: "A patient on crutches is ready for discharge but does not have a ride home. Which of the following modes of transportation would be most appropriate?"

 

3. Case Manager, Certified (CMC)

American Institute of Outcomes Case Management (AIOCM), 12519 Lambert Road, Whittier, CA 90606. Telephone: (562) 945-9990. Web site: www.aiocm.com

Eligibility requirements:

To become certified, a candidate must be a member of AIOCM. Applicants are awarded eligibility points for education, professional experience, and education in outcomes case management in the AIOCM's standard certification process. A minimum number of points is required in all three categories for entrance to the examination. When applicants have had significant outcomes case management experience but do not meet the eligibility points under the standard procedure, they may submit a portfolio of their education, experience, and relevant training for review, accompanied by a personal statement and at least one reference from an AIOCM CMC. Upon favorable review of the portfolio, the applicant will be eligible to sit for the examination.

Registration fee: $200 ($50 application fee, $75 AIOCM membership fee, and $75 examination fee).

Testing dates: As arranged. Testing sites: Various sites throughout the United States.

Recertification: Certification is valid for two years. Recertification fees are $50. Recertification requirements include:

— membership in good standing with AIOCM;

— seven continuing education points during the two-year recertification interval;

— letter acknowledging the AIOCM code of ethics and agreeing to abide by the AIOCM code of ethics.

Additional information: The AIOCM is not affiliated with the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) in Colchester, CT, whose certified professionals also use the abbreviation "CMC."

Exam content outline: The two-hour examination covers knowledge in outcomes case management, business, finance, management, critical thinking capabilities, and other relevant areas of outcomes case management.

4. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

Healthcare Quality Certification Board of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), P.O. Box 1880, San Gabriel, CA 91778. Telephone: (626) 286-8074. Fax: (626) 286-9415. Web site: www.cphq-hqcb.org.

Eligibility requirements: Criteria for eligibility cover both education and experience. Candidates must meet BOTH the minimum education and experience requirements to register for the examination. If one but not both of the requirements below is met, preapplication review of eligibility may be appropriate. If candidates wish to request equivalency review, they should request the candidate hand book for further details as soon as possible. Deadline for submission of equivalency materials is 90 days prior to the exam date.

Education criteria include:

— associate, baccalaureate, final, master's, or doctoral college degree in any field, or RN license or license in practical nursing (LVN or LPN), or accreditation in medical records technology (Registered Health Information Technician [RHIT] or Registered Health Information Administrator [RHIA]).

Experience requirements include:

— minimum of two years full-time experience or its part-time equivalent (4,160 hours) in quality improvement, quality management, case management, care management, disease management, utilization management, and/or risk management activities within the last five years by the date of the examination.

Registration fees: The "early-bird" exam fee is $300 for applications postmarked by June 30, 2001. NAHQ members who meet the "early-bird" deadline may pay the special NAHQ member fee of $235. For applications postmarked after June 30 but not later than the Aug. 31, 2001, deadline, the fee is $350. NAHQ members may take advantage of the $285 special NAHQ member fee. The Healthcare Quality Certification Board also extends the lower NAHQ-member exam fee to candidates who are members of national health care quality societies outside the United States that have formally affiliated with NAHQ.

Testing date: The date of the next exam is Nov 10, 2001. Non-Saturday testing for those with specific religious restrictions is available in some locations. Testing sites: Exams are administered at colleges and universities in more than 45 locations nationally and internationally. Specific information about the test site is included on the admission ticket. Candidates living more than 400 miles from a testing site may request a special testing site for an additional nonrefundable fee of $300.

Additional information: The Healthcare Quality Certification Board has issued a position statement that says, "Although the largest percentage of the CPHQ examination assesses knowledge of quality management, it also covers the important elements of case/care/disease, utilization, and risk management as well as data management and general management skills."

Exam content outline: The CPHQ examination is based on an international survey of QM professionals. Each of the following four categories is covered in the exam questions: management and leadership; information management; education, training, and communication; performance measurement and improvement.

Sample question: Which of the following processes is most cost-effective in preventing unnecessary resource consumption in the hospital?

5. Case Management Administrator, Certified (CMAC)

The Center for Case Management, 6 Pleasant St., South Natick, MA 01760. Telephone: (508) 651-2600. Fax: (508) 655-0858.

Eligibility requirements: Candidates must meet one of the following five criteria:

— master's degree and one year experience in case management administration;

— master's degree and three years experience as a case manager;

— bachelor's degree and three years experience in case management administration;

— bachelor's degree and five years experience as a case manager;

— one of the following active case manager certifications accepted as entry into the CMAC exam: A-CCC, CRRN, CCM, CDMS. Evidence of certification must be supplied upon application.

Additional information: According to Robyn Ripley, director of consulting support at the Center for Case Management, certifying at the administrative level is not only unique, but very important because "the skills required at [that] level go across the definitions of case management." She explains, "We had a lot of feedback from people who said, 'I don't have a BA, but I'm certified, and I've been doing case management administration for a number of years.' And so we broadened our eligibility. We looked at several certifications which met our criteria, and we're actively reviewing that every six months and adding certifications that [are appropriate]."

Registration fee: $300.

Testing dates: April 28 and Oct. 20, 2001. Sunday testing for those with specific religious restrictions only is available upon written request. Requests must be received eight weeks before the test date. Testing sites: More than 15 states have testing centers. Candidates living more than 500 miles from an established testing center may request special arrangements for an additional $100 fee.

Recertification: Certification is valid for five years. To recertify, candidates must retake and pass the CMAC exam.

Definition of case management administration practice: Case management administrators supervise employees who perform the following role functions, or, if applying as an experienced case manager, perform at least eight of the following functions on a daily basis:

— case finding;

— comprehensive assessment of client situation;

— evaluation and coordination of plan of care;

— matching client resources to client need;

— monitoring delivery of service;

— critical thinking, appropriate prioritization, and time management;

— measurement and evaluation of financial, clinical, functional, and satisfaction outcomes;

— accountability for financial, clinical, function and satisfaction outcomes;

— effective leadership displayed in performance of current role;

— effective communication;

— evaluation of and response to learning needs of clients, clinicians, and community.

Exam content outline: The exam covers the following seven domains: identification of at-risk populations; assessment of clinical system components; development of strategies to manage at-risk populations; assessment of organizational culture; market assessment and strategic planning; human resource management; and outcomes measurement, monitoring, and management.

Sample question: Case managers provide a source of data on the adequacy of continuum resources for specific patient populations based on which of the following?

 

6. Continuity of Care Certification, Advanced (A-CCC)

National Board for Certification in Continuing of Care (NBCCC), 241 Dunlap Court, Jacksonville, IL 62650. Telephone: (877) 661-0066. E-mail: hss2@csj.net. Web site: www.nbccc.org. The test is administered for NBCCC by The Professional Testing Corporation (PTC), 638 Broadway, 17th Floor, NY, NY 10018. Telephone: (212) 356-0660. E-mail: ptcny@ptcny.com. Web site: www.ptcny.com. Case managers may request an application and guidebook on-line through the PTC Web site.

Eligibility criteria:

— a baccalaureate degree or higher and two years of full-time experience in continuity of care within the last five years (or equivalent part-time experience within the last five years);

— verification of employment is required.

OR

— candidates without a baccalaureate degree must verify eight years of full-time experience in continuity of care within the last 12 years;

— verification of employment and verification that job responsibilities include continuity of care functions;

— a copy of the candidate's current job description must be submitted with the application.

Registration fee: $300.

Testing dates: May 5 and Nov. 10, 2001. Testing sites: Multiple sites available nationwide in 11 states. In addition, special testing centers can be requested for candidates who live more than 500 miles from the nearest testing site. There is a $100 fee for special testing sites.

Recertification: Certification is valid for five years from the date of initial certification. To achieve recertification, a candidate must:

— provide documented evidence of at least 50 contact hours of continuing education related to continuity of care within the five-year certification period;

OR

— retake and successfully pass the certification examination.

Both options require payment of a recertification fee.

Exam content outline: The test covers the continuity of care process, health care delivery systems, professional issues, standards, reimbursement, regulation and legal issues, and clinical issues.

Sample question: Implementation is the phase of continuity of care in which:

a) agreed-upon plans are put into place and managed

b) the patient's needs are assessed

c) the requested services are reviewed

d) the initial plan is evaluated by the physician

 

7. Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission, 1835 Rohlwing Road, Suite E, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. Telephone: (847) 394-2106. Fax: (847) 394-2171. E-mail: info@cdms.org. Web site: www.cdms.org.

Eligibility criteria:

Candidates must meet one of the following five criteria:

— master's degree in rehabilitation counseling with 600 clock hours of certified supervision by a CDMS or CRC (certified rehabilitation counselor);

— certification as a CRC and 12 months of acceptable supervised experience;

— license as an RN with 24 months of acceptable experience (12 of the 24 months must be under direct supervision);

— bachelor's or master's degree and license with 12 to 24 months of acceptable experience (12 of the 24 months must be under direct supervision);

— bachelor's degree (or higher), acceptable course work, and 36 months of acceptable experience (12 of the 36 months must be under direct supervision).

Registration fee: $290.

Testing dates: Twice annually in April and October. Testing sites: Fully accessible, smoke-free test sites are arranged on the basis of the geographic distribution of the candidates sitting for the examination. In order to minimize travel expenses, one examination site per state will be established where possible.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every five years. Candidates must accumulate 80 hours of acceptable continuing education, four of which must be in the area of ethics, or retake the CDMS examination. The recertification fee is $150. Candidates choosing to retake the exam pay an additional $160.

Exam content outline: The one-day exam contains 300 multiple-choice questions. It covers disability case management, psychosocial intervention, vocational aspects of disability, managed care and disability management concepts, and business knowledge related to disability management.

Sample question: An employee becomes totally incapacitated for work beyond the day on which the injury was sustained but is subsequently able to return to work without permanent impairment. Under the workers' compensation system, this type of disability is classified as:

a) permanent-total disability

b) temporary-total disability

c) temporary-permanent disability

d) permanent-partial disability

8. Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN)

Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board, 4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025-1485. Telephone: (800) 229-7530. Web site: www.rehabnurse.org .

Eligibility criteria:

— a current unrestricted RN license;

— at least two years of practice as a registered professional nurse in rehabilitation nursing.

OR

— at least one year of practice as a registered professional nurse in rehabilitation nursing and one year of advanced study beyond a baccalaureate in nursing;

— all candidates must provide verification of rehabilitation nursing experience by two professional colleagues, one of whom is a CRRN, or the candidates' immediate supervisor;

In addition, as of Dec. 1, 2000, candidates also must have:

— completed by the examination date a formal course in the core content of rehabilitation nursing of at least one semester hour or 1½ quarter hours for a total of 15 classroom hours;

OR

— completed at least 15 contact hours in the core content of rehabilitation nursing as approved by a body accredited to do so by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Washington, DC.

Registration fees: $195 for Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) members, $285 for nonmembers.

Testing dates: Twice annually in June and December. Testing sites: Multiple testing sites nationwide and at the ARN national conference.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every five years. The CRRN credential may be renewed by either passing the CRRN examination within one year prior to the certification expiration date or submitting a renewal application to renew by 60 points of credit by the established deadline.

Exam content outline: The exam covers the following four domains: functional health patterns; rehabilitation and rehabilitation nursing models and theories; the rehabilitation team and community re-entry; legislative, economic, ethical, and legal issues in rehabilitation nursing.

Sample question: The most crucial measure for the prevention of pressure ulcers is:

a) ensuring adequate diet

b) using systemic antibiotics

c) routinely relieving pressure

d) preventing bowel and bladder incontinence

 

9. Certified Social Work Case Manager (CSWCM)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Credentialing Center, Attention: Specialty Certifications, 750 First St. N.E., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Telephone: (800) 638-8799, ext. 409. E-mail: credentialing@naswdc.org. Web site: www.naswdc.org.

Eligibility criteria:

— active NASW membership in good standing;

— bachelor's in social work (BSW) degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution;

— one year (1,500 hours) paid, post-BSW, supervised work experience;

— one of the following: NASW ACBSW credential, current state BSW-level licensure, if applicable, or passing score on the AASSWB basic exam;

— 1,500 hours paid, post-BSW, supervised experience as a case manager, case management being the primary job function (hours cannot be accumulated in less than one year or more than five years);

— knowledge of the seven core functions of social work case management (engagement, assessment, planning, implementation/coordination, advocacy, reassessment/evaluation, and disengagement);

— one hour supervision for every 15 hours direct client-level case management tasks;

— supervision must be by a BSW with five years or more experience or an MSW with two years of more experience;

— a reference from a BSW- or MSW-level supervisor;

— a reference from one colleague (preferably a social worker).

Registration fee: $100. (This is an introductory fee and may be raised when the board meets in December.)

Testing dates/testing sites/exam content: Not applicable. There is no examination. Certification is earned by meeting the eligibility requirements and upon review of the candidate's references.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every two years. Candidates must complete 20 contact hours of approved continuing education. In addition, candidates must state to which of the seven core functions listed above the training applies. Candidates also must agree to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW standards for social work case management and are subject to the NASW adjudication process.

10. Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN)

American Board of Managed Care Nursing (ABMCN), 4435 Waterfront Drive, Suite 101, Glen Allen, VA 23060. Telephone: (804) 527-1905. Fax: (804) 747-5316. Web site: www.abmcn.org.

Eligibility criteria:

— RN license or LPN license or a current license to practice nursing in any American state, territory, or protectorate;

— completion of the prescribed curriculum of the ABMCN.

OR

— an affidavit that attests to completion of equivalent course work taken elsewhere.

Registration fee: $225.

Testing dates: As arranged with the candidate's local Sylvan Technology Center. Testing sites: Any Sylvan Technology Center at more than 300 locations throughout North America.

Recertification: Information unavailable.

Exam content outline: The exam includes roughly 150 multiple-choice questions focusing on the vocabulary, concepts, and application of managed care in the health care delivery system. Most candidates complete the exam in three hours.

Sample question: The primary purpose of a workers' compensation program is to:

a) provide sure, prompt, and reasonable income and medical benefits to insured workers, regardless of fault

b) protect the employer against frivolous lawsuits

c) assure the injured worker access to the legal system

d) help establish a network of rehabilitation providers

11. Certified Occupational Health Nurse/Case Manager (COHN/CM)

American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, 201 E. Ogden Ave., Suite 114, Hinsdale, IL 60521-3652. Telephone: (630) 789-5799 Fax: (630) 789-8901. Web site: www.abohn.org.

Eligibility criteria:

— current active status as a COHN;

— current licensure as an RN or its international equivalent;

— 10 documented hours of case management continuing education in the five years prior to application.

Registration fee: $185, application and exam fee.

Testing dates: April 21, 2001, and Oct. 13, 2001. Testing sites: More than 35 sites nationwide.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every five years. There is a $100 recertification fee.

Exam content outline: Many of the multiple-choice questions on the ABOHN case management examination are written in "case sets." Case sets of test questions are groups of items pertaining to a single patient or situation. The case begins with an introductory paragraph, and several questions are usually asked about the initial situation. Then additional information is supplied, as time passes or healing or a complication occurs, and more questions are asked. Case sets lend themselves to clinical situations.

Sample question: Mr. David Johnson, who has diabetes mellitus (type 2), is a housekeeper in a hospital. He reports to the employee health unit complaining of a painful swollen knee that limits his ability to perform his duties. Mr. Johnson states that he fell while on duty about one week ago.

At this time, which of these actions should the nurse case manager take?

a) wrap the knee and have him return to work

b) record the injury on the OSHA 200 log

c) ask him to describe how the injury occurred

d) discuss a temporary work modification for him with his supervisor

 

12. Care Manager Certified (CMC)

National Academy of Certified Care Managers, P.O. Box 669, 244 Upton Road, Colchester, CT 06415-0669 Telephone: (800) 962-2260 Fax: (860) 537-8288. Web site: www.home.earthlink.net/~rogergoodman/naccm/naccm.html.

Eligibility criteria:

Candidates must meet one of the following three criteria:

— a minimum of two years of supervised, paid, full-time care management experience that includes face-to-face interviewing, assessment, care planning, problem solving and follow-up. This experience must be subsequent to obtaining a master's degree in a field related to care management (social work, nursing, counseling, gerontology, or psychology).

OR

— a minimum of four years of paid, full-time direct experience with clients in fields such as social work, nursing, mental health, counseling or care management, two years of which must be supervised, paid, full-time care management experience that includes face-to-face interaction as described above. This experience must be subsequent to obtaining a bachelor's degree in a field related to care management (social work, nursing, counseling, mental health, psychology, or gerontology).

OR

— a minimum of six years of paid, full-time, direct experience with clients in fields such as social work, nursing, mental health, counseling or care management, two years of which must be supervised, paid, full-time care management experience as described above. This experience must be subsequent to obtaining a minimum of a high school diploma or any degree unrelated to the field of care management.

Registration fee: $225; additional $20 for candidate handbook and application forms (required); $20 for reprocessing of incomplete or incorrect applications.

Testing dates: As arranged with local Sylvan Technology Center. Testing sites: More than 300 Sylvan Technology Centers in North America.

Recertification: Certification must be renewed every three years. Recertification fee is $150. Candidates must provide proof of 45 contact hours of continuing education over three years.

Exam content outline: The exam includes 200 multiple-choice questions. It covers five major domains: assessment; establishing goals and a plan of care; coordinating and linking formal and informal resources to meet goals and implement plan of care; managing and monitoring ongoing provision and need for care; legal and ethical issues.

Sample question: A consumer living in supervised housing becomes psychologically unstable and is returned to a local mental hospital. What is the appropriate procedure to follow during the consumer's hospitalization?


More credentials of interest

Depending on your practice setting and background, there are several other certifications you may want to research. Those include:

o Certified Professional Utilization Review (CPUR).

This certification is geared toward utilization managers. For more information on this credential, contact McKesson HBOC, Interqual Products Group, 293 Boston Post Road W., Suite 180, West Marbourough, MA 01752. Telephone: (800) 582-1738. Fax: (508) 481-2393. E-mail: iq@interqual.com. Web site: www.interqual.com.

o Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).

This certification is for rehabilitation counselors. For more information, contact Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, 1835 Rohlwing Road, Suite E, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. Telephone: (847) 394-2104. Web site: www.crccertification.org.

o Certified Healthcare Management Professional (CHMP).

This certification is designed for frontline managers in health care organizations. For more information, call the American Institute of Healthcare Management at (888) 799-2446. E-mail: chmp@aihm.org. Web site: www.aihm.org.

o Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS).

This certification is for direct care staff, nurses and case managers, and health care organization directors who work with brain-injured clients. For more information, contact the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (AACBIS), Brain Injury Association, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 296-6443.